Oshkosh Complaint Commands Headlines

Several full pages of letters in The Oshkosh Northwestern were devoted to the Foundation’s complaint in March.

Headlines tell the story:

“Memorial Creates Controversy” (3/8/06)

“Mayor called Park Angel ‘Done Deal’ (3/15/06)

Statue Debate Not Over (3/16/06)

“Woman Objected to Angel” (3/21/06) interviewed Oshkosh resident Jean Gams, the complainant.

The first full page of letters on the topic was evenly divided pro and con. Letters from supportive locals included “Memorial Park Not Suitable for Memorial,” “Cemetery is Proper Place for Memorial,” and “Mayor Puts Himself Above the Law.” The letters debate became more lopsided against state/church separation afterward.

The Oshkosh Northwesternran a firm editorial against placing the religious monument, warning of a “long, expensive, protracted legal fight.” The newspaper even phoned two private hospitals and reported they were receptive to hosting the statue. The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh student newspaper also editorialized against the proposal.

The company selling the $20,000 statues is a commercial enterprise which requires buyers to agree never to change the name from “Christmas Box Angel.”

“We see this as following in the footsteps of the DeMille-Eagles campaign–a commercial enterprise that brought us thousands of Ten Commandments monuments on public property,” said Gaylor.

“We do not want to see public areas littered with depictions of supernatural creatures, and local governments promoting belief in transcendent beings, heaven, and an afterlife.”

Address letters to:

Oshkosh Northwestern
PO Box 2926
Oshkosh WI 54903

“Angel Doesn’t Belong in Menominee Park”

The Christmas Box Angel statue does not belong in Menominee Park. This park is maintained by taxpayers of all religious and non-religious perspectives. It is unconscionable and unconstitutional for government to force people to contribute money for the support of any religion that they find ludicrous, abhorrent or just simply innocuous.

A monument celebrating childhood could include Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher. That would be appropriate. It would celebrate life and leave the issue of angelic entities in the realm of the human imagination whence it sprang.

A question that must be asked is how can the promoters of the Christmas Box Angel assume that the god they worship truly cares about children. In the book he has allegedly written, known as The Holy Bible, it is written:

“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, . . .” (Numbers 31:17).

“. . . slay both man and woman, infant and suckling . . . .” (I Samuel 15: 3).

“Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women: . . .” (Ezekiel 9:6).

“Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” (Psalm 137:9).

“. . . and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child.” (2 Kings 8:12).

There is much more but it is best summed up in Isaiah 45:7 wherein the god worshiped by Jews and Christians tells us who is responsible for evil:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

It would appear that if the god of the Bible had his way, the statue representing children in Menominee Park would be demonic and not angelic.

In any event–angelic, demonic or whatever–the bottom line is that taxpayer support of anyone’s religion is clearly unconstitutional.

Robert E. Nordlander

Bob Nordlander is a longtime Foundation member from Wisconsin.

Freedom From Religion Foundation